Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday Stinks

Please head over to Deep South Moms to read about how Mondays are just killing me lately... Tuesday is treating me a little better, with two napping toddlers and a school day. I love school! And I love naps!

Today I've been working in my craft/guest room to prepare it for my parents visit this weekend and instead of just stashing the projects I've been avoiding, I actually did them.

1. Sew buttons on 2 pairs of Kevin's shorts... check
2. Fix pair of jammies... check
3. Fix Eric's comforter...check

It feels good to get those things done.

Now to finish tidying up that room & making it pretty for mom and dad.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Where's the Inspiration?

I have had the hardest time blogging lately. I'm currently trying to get something ready for Deep South Moms, and it's not coming together at ALL. Also, life is full of funny, inspiring, wonderful moments lately but none of them are coming together into a blog post.

Everything is great here... I just have a case of writer's blogger's block... Hmmm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Questions Du Jour

How do I get Ben to keep pants on? We are in the process of potty training, mostly because he is obsessed with the potty. However, after he goes he will not leave a diaper, pullup, or even underwear on his cute little bottom.

Do I even bother? Is there some secret?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things That Have Made Me Laugh

Ben answers me now when I say "Bennny, where ARE you?" He'll tell me 'side' when he's on the patio, 'stairs' if he's upstairs, and 'potty' if he's in the bathroom wreaking some kind of havoc. When I say "Hey Ben how are you?" He says "good" and the funniest thing recently is out of the blue he said "Go Sharks." Eric and Mark's soccer team is the Sharks. Try as I might to get it out of him at a game, he won't open his mouth, but at home, at dinner "Go Sharks." There are many, many things Ben does right now that do not make me laugh, however the things that come out of his itty tiny mouth. Hilarious!

Zack is quite the comedian. I ask him what letter his name starts with and he says "two." When I suggest that two is a number and his name starts with the letter Z he laughs hysterically as if I'm crazy. He knows the answer, he just thinks it's funny to say the wrong thing. Also, if asked how old he is, he says "big." He just beats to his own little drum. Only don't tell him he's little. Oooooh boy, no, he does not like that! Also, recently he told me he did not like his orange drink (a rare treat around here) that it tasted like wood. Mmmkay then.

Mark is so dramatic it makes me crazy when it's not hysterically funny. The other night I made French Dip sandwiches for dinner. I got the recipe from a friend of mine, and it truly is awesome! As I'm scrambling to get things ready, he says "Mom, can I have some of that famous dip?" I was at a loss. No earthly idea what he was talking about. "You know mom, that really good dip you make." Well, I certainly don't have time to make any DIP. Before I could get any words out he elaborated. "YOU KNOW, the famous dip for the sandwiches?" "Ohhhh, sure you can have some. With dinner..." Along the famous and cooking lines, the boy is destined to be a chef or something. Sunday night the boys wanted dessert and I had not planned on making it. Kevin suggested that our very big boys make muffins from the Jiffy mixes we have. They read all of the instructions and did all of it with no help, except for cracking the egg and putting them in the oven. GO BOYS! Anyway, Mark went on and on about how amazing these muffins were. "Do you think they are even better than the muffins you made us from a recipe mom? " Sure Mark, I just bet they are. (Even though those same muffins were "famous" not a few days before.)

Eric is funny in a quiet way. At soccer he is improving. He'd be even better with out his "poses." His runners pose where he gets all bent over with his arms out like he is at the starting blocks of a track race. The little skip he does as he runs after the ball, and lets not forget the celebratory pose when someone else scores a goal. Fist in the air! Other arm at a 90 degree angle by his side! And give a little leap! His enthusiasm is adorable, the physical drama tickles me! Even if he chooses his words wisely he does come out with some zingers sometimes. One night I was thawing meat for dinner and he asks me "where's the food mom? What's for dinner?" I replied that the meat was defrosting and then I'd cook it. I couldn't help but crack up when he answered "MOM you can't put frosting on MEAT! Ewww!" I still haven't decided if he thought I had lost my mind or if it was a play on words. Either is equally likely with him.

Then there is me. My thing that made me laugh, is as often is the case, strictly due to Mommy Brain. For about a week when I've tried to wash any clothes on HOT or even warm, no hot water would come out. I tried turning OFF the cold water and then NO water came out. I made a note to mention it to Kevin to see if he could work some kind of magic on it. Tonight, I went to transfer a load from the washer to the dryer and noticed the sheets from a pee incident the night before still smelled like pee. Ewwww. What the heck? So I added more detergent and started the cycle again. Later, I walked by and thought, well that was reallllly fast. It's already done. So I glanced at all the knobs and it was on it's "quick rinse" cycle. I'm actually quite horrified that all of our clothes for the past week have been quickly rinsed, rather than running through a proper wash cycle. However, the hot water now works. At least I can laugh about it, right?

Monday, March 23, 2009

When Something Seems Not Quite Right... It's Probably Not

I've had pinkeye a few times in my life. All of those times have been as a parent treatinga child that brought it home. Conjectivitis always clears up in a few days. Honestly I can't remember starting the drops and having them not take effect almost immediately.

This time I felt like I'd be almost better, on the path to recovery, and BAM itching and swelling. It was so odd. Meanwhile, I was waking up everyday with my eyes crusted shut. Even though my left eye started this nonsense I felt like it was getting infected too, so I decided to get a jump on it and start treating it. And it got worse. And worse, and... well you know.

Yesterday Kevin told me I HAD to go to the After Hours place because I looked awful. I had big red circles under my eyes and the circles were spreading across my right cheek. My eyes were puffy and the white part was blood shot. I was quite the sight.

So I went, thinking I was probably going to get chastised for using my kids eyedrops (leftover from the last bout.) I did not however, expect to be told that I was having an allergic reaction. So now I'm all buzzed up because they gave me a shot of steroids, plus a prescription for oral steroids and an antihistamine.

I no longer look like a pink racoon, and more importantly I don't even notice my eyes are in my head, except the part about being able to see. This is a great feeling.

A few lessons I've learned.

1. If something seems not quite right, it's probably not.
2. I should never, EVER take vigamoxx again. EVER.
3. Steroids are pretty awesome except for making me shaking and hyper. I came home from the doctor and talked non stop until 8:30 when I crashed on the couch watching The Amazing Race.

PS The nurse told me not to go to work today. Does that mean I don't have to do chores?

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I know I've talked about these birds before. I have a irrational fear of them. Kevin asked why I didn't go outside so the view was not obscured by the screen. Answer: Because they freak me the heck out...

See (and hear) for yourself:

PS They are LOUD. And I was on the phone while taking that video; thus the giggling, and "yeah."

Friday, March 20, 2009

Darn the Pediatricians Office

I love my kids' doctor. She is seriously the best. If I knew met her at a playgroup she'd be one of the moms I love to hang out with and go to lunch with. I have such a good time chatting with her, and she's just REAL. Love her.

However... I hate the doctor's office. Nothing they did wrong at all, because in all my experience at that office (and it's pretty vast) I've only had one experience that didn't meet or exceed my expectations. I avoid that one doctor and it's golden.

Except. Doctors offices are full of germs. There's no way around it. I try not to let the kids touch anything when we are there (I'm sure you can imagine how successful those attempts are), we sanitize hands, we try very very hard not to acquire any illness. And yet...

A few days ago I was lamenting to a friend about the fact that I have PINK EYE and let it get SO bad because none of the kids had pinkeye and I kept thinking it was allergies. There's nothing quite like waking up to your eyes glued shut with the crusty nastiness that is pink eye. Nothing (okay, I'm sure there's worse but seriously - gross!) She said "You know when all this started? When you took Ben to his 2 year appointment.)

And I laughed. Not because it's funny, but because it was either that or cry. Someone has been sick in my home since February 18th when I took Ben in for his 2 year check up. Coincidence? I'm thinking not? Shall I run down the fun with you? 2 year appointment, we are all happy and healthy. Then Mark gets an ear infection, then Eric gets pneumonia and the rest of us are coughing and sniffly, then this nasty pinkeye nonsense. Come on people, I've Clorox wiped every surface of my house multiple times. Where is it all coming from?

Oh yeah, the doctor's office. Fun stuff!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Judgement Knocking on My Door

A few days ago I was working on a post for Deep South Moms. I was actually struggling with it a little, trying to make my point without sounding too ranty. I was focussed, and by that I mean I was totally ignoring the little kids. Don't take that the wrong way. I knew what was going on. They were both in eye and ear shot, but I was just kind of letting them do their own thing. Zack's own thing was running around, riding the little train, and other random 3 year old cuteness. Ben's own thing was sitting at the table with a snack, followed by standing on top of the table with a snack.

I realize that standing on the table isn't the best place for a kid, but sometimes it's just where I want him. I mean if he's standing on the table then I know I don't have to worry about him climbing to the tip top of the pantry (which is now suitably LOCKED at any given time)or sneaking out to the garage to try to run away. (This situation has also been remedied by deprogramming the button on the van that opens it and hiding the remote in the glove box.)

As I was putting the finishing touches on my post there was a knock at the door. Two moms, and I wondered if it was someone I knew because I couldn't place them. They each had a stroller with a baby in it. I ran to answer the door. Apparently, they had been walking by with their babies, and saw Ben on the table. They were concerned, apologized for being nosy. Said "We just wanted to make sure his mommy knew he was on the table! " I then reminded myself to close the shade on the door from now on.

I have a variety of emotions from this. My first reaction was to feel intruded upon. I know they meant well, and it's probably not a common thing to see a cute little two year old on top of the table. Frankly, that would have horrified me with both Eric and Mark, but after two climbers I've mellowed a lot. Then I have to wonder what kind of mother they think I am after my laid back "Oh, sure, he does that... I was right there." Which is true. I was RIGHT there. He had been talking to me and me to him as they were knocking.

I have to wonder what those two moms talked about on the rest of their walk. Try as I might not to care whether they judged me or not I totally do. So, to those mommies (who I'm sure are super great and nice) Please don't judge me. I'm not a perfect mother, but I am trying. Just wait til your little babies are mobile, and you have more than one. Sometimes the table is an okay place to be (at least in my house)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Love Soccer, Practice... Not So Much

Our first venture into organized sports has been awesome! The kids have come so far in such a short time. After the first game I predicted we would be "that" team that lost every game and I was not looking forward to it. Amazing how some practice, good coaching (seriously, we have the BEST coach) and learning a little more about the game can make a world of difference. The next thing we knew we had tied a game! And then won two. Now, I know winning isn't really that important and the main goal in this league is to have fun, but I'm so glad they didn't lose every game.

I love going to soccer games on Saturday mornings. I love watching the boys run and kick the ball. I especially love watching Mark, who I think has a natural athletic ability that I never realized he had before. Eric has to work a little harder, but he's really starting to catch on and do well. They both have a crazy good time.

As much as I love going to the games, I can.not.stand soccer practice. I get that it's necessary. In fact, without our weekly practice we may have continued to be that team that lost every game. However... me alone with the two little ones for an hour in a huge open space is enough to drive me crazy.

Here's how practice went last night. I chased Ben repeatedly away from the parking lot. I took the kids to the far away bathroom because I had to go and suspected Zack did too. We hiked all the way there, and then I had to explain to them why we couldn't play on the playground that was RIGHT there. Then I had to get Zack off the playground when he completely disregarded my reason and made a mad dash for the slide. It's hard to blame him, it's a pretty cool playground. Yet, I needed to be closer to the practice and couldn't be two places at once. I herded the two little crazies back toward the soccer practice, while chasing them both several times as they made attempts to get back to the playground. Once we got back to the practice field, I let them play in the dirt. By play in the dirt I mean pick up handfuls of sand and throw it in the air, letting in fall where it may, mostly on their own heads, faces, arms, and bodies. Then, once that was no longer fun, Ben made another run towards the parking lot. All the while, Eric keeps saying, "Mom, did you see that?" and I had to say no. Which is a bummer. Because I really would have liked to see him.

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Reasons My Nerves Are Shot

1. Re Potty Training. My child is going to be four in four and a half months and we just keep having issues. I should KNOW how to get through to him. And yet...So, I'm pretending like I haven't potty trained him yet and starting over. Again.

2. Big kids fighting. That's just self explanatory. I have a pretty high tolerance level for chaos (good thing since our family tends to be a teeny bit chaotic!), but an insanely low tolerance for bickering and picking at each other. Can't.stand.it.

3. And this is the biggie. Ben learned a new thing this week. He got into the garage (without me knowing) and the first I knew of it I heard the garage door go up. I ran out there and caught him just before he got to the street. Since he figured out that trick I've been making sure to lock both the door to the garage (which he can unlock but it's difficult and thus sometimes a deterrent), and also lock up the van IN the garage (which annoys me to no end for some reason.) On Wednesday I slipped and forgot to do this. I went to the bathroom and came back and didn't see Ben. I decided to peek out in the garage just in case and the door was wide open, and no baby. I freaked out and started screaming his name. I'm sure I looked like a nut, but fortunately I don't think anyone saw me. I ran a few houses down looking for him, then turned to home to figure out what to do. I shouted his name one more time, nearing panic, ready to call 911 for help and start knocking on neighbor's doors to help me look. And there he was. Standing at the entrance to the garage, looking at me like I had lost my mind. Little does he know how close he is to being correct. I haven't forgotten to lock that damn door since.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just Call Me Mark

Seriously. Mark is my early rising kid. He ranges anywhere from 5 AM to 6:30 and we've done everything in our power to change this. Enter day light savings time... here I sit at almost 7 and none of my children are awake. Which is fine, really, except for one thing.

Can anyone explain to me why the past two mornings my eyes have popped open at 5:38 on the dot and I've been unable to go back to sleep? I'd blame the time change except for the fact that the time moved the other direction, so if we are going on the old clock it would be 4:48. I don't know.

It's not all bad, as I did my Shred workout (yep, I jumped on that bandwagon) without kids all around me and I am blogging without anyone else begging to use the computer. Sitting in my house in relative quiet... do you know how noisy the computer keyboard is when the surrounding area is silent? Strange.

I'm hoping that the boys continue sleeping in like this, but I'm doubtful. In the meantime... a notice to my body... eyes stay shut til the clock says 6 at least. Okay?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today I went grocery shopping, which should not be worth noting at all. Except for the fact that it is noteable because it's been so long since I went to the store, armed with a list and an actual menu of foods I plan to prepare. I've been winging it for awhile. Most of the stress associated with dinner preparation for me involves not knowing until 3 or 4 (or, ahem 5 or 6) what on earth I'm going to make for dinner.

So, yesterday, I made a menu, a list and today I braved the grocery store with two little boys. As much as I'd love to just get a sitter to do these things I'm frankly too cheap to spend the money. I went to my least favorite (read I can't.stand.the.place.for a zillion different reasons) store because it is known to be less expensive and I am trying to be frugal. I got almost every item on my list except for the one thing they didn't carry, and the one thing we like better at a different store.

I have supplies and food to get us through the next 9 days. Unless I forgot to put something on the list which is entirely possible.

My ultimate goal is to get a 6 week menu that I can go through and repeat. In line with that I want to create a master shopping list that goes with each week's menu so that list making is less annoying tedious. I am going to go into more detail on this if you are interested on my other blog... where I am detailing my efforts to once and for all get organized and be a better housekeeper. So far my work is paying off (which sadly coincides with the less frequent blogging of late.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Book Club Time

It's book club time! This month the Deep South Moms Blog is hosting the book club for "It Started With Pop Tarts" by Lori Hanson.

I had to overcome a few hurdles while reading this book. My biggest difficulty was redefining what bulimia was. My definition involved binging and purging, through vomiting or laxatives. After researching a bit and learning that bulimia can in fact be present without purging I was then able to move forward. I learned that it can in fact be a matter of binging, then going for a long run, or dieting excessively to make up for the excessive intake.

Lori tells the story of her youth. She was troubled and struggled with self esteem from an early age. Her first experience with binging was in boarding school when she and a friend stole a large package of Pop Tarts from the kitchen. It continued to build from there.

Her struggle with food continued into adulthood and later she turned to alcohol as another coping mechanism. The lack of self esteem, poor body image and struggles in her personal life were contributing to her bulimia.

Lori found a way out of her turmoil through natural methods, and determining the root causes of her problems with food. While these methods might not work for everyone, I think this book is a great way to show one person's path. The most important thing is that every girl, every woman can find the path to self confidence, good body image and self esteem.

I've struggled with my own weight since my early twenties. I never saw it coming since in high school I could eat whatever I wanted with no consequence. I thought I must just have a super metabolism. I'm not bulimic, but I definitely have my own issues with overeating, especially sweets. In that regard, I could identify with Lori's struggle.

As I was reading, I wondered just how prevalent these feelings of poor body image leading to eating disorders really were. What I found was unnerving. One survey of approximately 4000 women ages 25-45 found that 65% of those surveyed experienced "disordered eating" with an additional 10% reporting symptoms of anorexia or bulimia. That's just one survey, but those results opened my eyes. Body image is a significant problem among women, and I am glad that Lori shared her story, to open people up to an alternative method of healing when conventional methods may not be sufficient.

Monday, March 9, 2009

He's Just Like His Big Brother

Only just a teensy tinesy bit crazier.

Almost a year ago I caught Zack on the top shelf of the pantry. I was pretty horrified, but not so horrified that I didn't send Mark to the desk to get the camera so I could blog about it.

Last week, I caught Ben on the top shelf of the pantry. So, I figured I might as well take a picture again.

When Zack climbed up, he wasn't after anything. He simply wanted to climb. Ben was after candy. I had initially stashed all the candy they brought home from school for Valentines Day in a cabinet, up too high for anyone to reach. They kept dragging chairs over and climbing onto the cabinet to get it. So, I moved it to the top shelf of the pantry. You see how well that worked out for me. The Valentines Day candy now resides on the top of the fridge. I'm sure Ben is more than capable of climbing there too, but so far he hasn't realized it.

I did let him have the sucker. He worked awfully hard for it, after all.

Later in the day he was still carrying around his prize. And apparently climbing is very exhausting, since he crashed in the living room floor.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In My Dreams

I'm at Deep South Moms today, with a post about my Mommy Fantasy.

What is your escape fantasy? What do you do for a sanity break?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Yesterday morning I thought Eric had a stomach bug. Vomiting, fever, lethargic... the symptoms fit. Then on the way home from dropping Mark of at school he told me his throat felt like something was poking it. Hmm. Interesting. I've heard that kids with strep throat can sometimes throw up. Then I had a memory...

Go back five years when we had first moved to Georgia. We had been there two days and I hadn't met anyone. Kevin was off to work and I was alone with my two babies thinking about getting unpacked and ready to live this new adventure. That morning Eric spiked a fever and started throwing up. Even back then I didn't usually take the kids to the doctor for stomach stuff but my little not quite two year old Eric was just laying on me, limp, in between being sick. I called Kevin in a panic asking him where I would even take him. He asked around the office and we found our new pediatrician.

Arriving at the office, I expected her to tell me it was a stomach virus and send me home with a warning about keeping him hydrated. Instead, she noticed he was breathing rapidly, his pulse - ox levels were bordering on low and she suspected pneumonia. Chest xrays confirmed this and we got his medicine and went home to get well.

Yesterday morning, I saw all of that as clearly as if it had just happened. Then I called the doctor. I wrote it off as paranoia, but I definitely wanted to get it checked out. Our pediatrician immediately agreed this was no stomach bug. I felt relief and dread at the same time. Relief that I wouldn't be spending the next week watching this sweep through the whole family, wondering when it would hit me. Dread that my intuition was right and we were battling something serious here.

Just like that time five years ago, chest xrays confirmed that my biggest little guy has pneumonia. He'll be out of school at least one more day after today. He is on antibiotics and prednisone and breathing treatments. He is feeling better already although still not well. As he sits at the kitchen table painting, I can hear him breathing and it pains me that he is struggling.

Soon he will be 100% and running and playing and this will just be a memory. Another experience to put in the Mommy knowledge bank so that next time (although I hope there is NEVER a next time) I will know exactly what to do.

I'm so thankful for intuition, memory, or whatever it was that made me remember the experience from years ago. I am so relieved I didn't write it off as a little virus and let him get worse. Now we can work to get him healthy again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sick House

One of the difficult things about having a bunch of kids (is four a bunch? I sometimes think no. This last few weeks, I'd answer 100% yes. Four is TONS!) is that when they get sick it can take seemingly forever to run it's course. Throw ME getting sick into that mix and it's just magnified by a zillion.

Last week everyone had colds (and possibly pinkeye... there were reddish eye lids amongst the littlest ones, so I started drops right away. I don't mess around with pink eye. UGH) and on Friday Mark was complaining of an earache. Less than 3 weeks since his last ear infection, but in the opposite ear. So, I slightly suspected he might be pulling the wool over my eyes, but not wanting him to suffer, I took him in. On the way to the pediatrician his pain intensified and he started saying "Ow, ow, ow" which led me to believe he was probably telling the truth. Sure enough, he had a really bad ear infection. Thankfully, they put some numbing ear drops in his ear and that really helped until the antibiotics kicked in. Now I just hope for no more ear problems.

I finally am feeling mostly better, still congested but I can walk across the kitchen without wheezing, huffing and puffing now. I thought to myself yesterday how happy I was that we were all getting healthy again and I could get back into my normal routine of gym in the mornings, volunteering at school once a week and getting the house clean. Then right before bedtime I realized Eric had a fever. Then in the middle of the night Monday night he came downstairs and threw up. Then once again before morning. I don't know if it's a stomach virus or evidence of something else because he is also coughing and says his throat feels like something is poking it. So, yes we get to see our doctor again today. It's a really good thing I love my pediatrician.

Now I get to sit here and wonder. I wonder if Mark was okay to go to school today. He slept until 7:45. I'll give you a second to get back in your chair if you've fallen out..... All set? Great.... SEVEN FORTY FIVE. This is my earliest riser and never sleeps past 6:30. I think in is 5.75 he's never EVER slept this late. However, he had no fever, no complaints so off he went. I wonder if someone else will be puking tonight. I wonder if we'll ever be all healthy again. I know we will but sometimes I wish they could just all get sick at the same time so it doesn't span over a 3 week period. I'm sure I'd complain if that happened too.

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